The Southwest Virginia Alliance for Manufacturing Hosts Annual Manufacturers Appreciation and Awards Dinner

Nearly one hundred and fifty business, government and community leaders from all across Southwest Virginia gathered at the Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center on Thursday, September 24th, to celebrate manufacturing and its contributions to the economy in the region.  At its annual Manufacturer’s Appreciation and Awards Dinner, the Southwest Virginia Alliance for Manufacturing (SVAM) reviewed its successful year of promotion of manufacturing as a career and renewed its commitment to continued growth in this all-important sector of Southwest Virginia’s economy.

During the dinner, SVAM provided a panel discussion about the Economic Development Benefits of the Southwest Virginia Advanced Manufacturing Center of Excellence. Joe Gillespie, Business Expansion Manager for the Virginia Economic Development Partnership; Bruce Sobczak, Director of Workforce Development for the Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing; and Stephanie Surrett, Director of the SVAM Center of Excellence provided information based on their levels of expertise about the role that the Center of Excellence will play to grow the manufacturing base in Southwest Virginia and the benefits to the region’s economy.

To end the evening four manufacturers received awards to recognize their growth and contributions to the community. The Environmental Stewardship Award was presented to Universal Fibers, located in Washington County, Virginia; The Innovations in Manufacturing Award was presented to Hollingsworth and Vose, located in Floyd County, Va; The Excellence in Safety Award was presented to Scholle IPN, located in Smyth County, Virginia; and the Manufacturer of the Year award was given to West River Conveyors located in Buchanan County, Virginia. SVAM also gave out two awards to recognize outstanding contributors to the organization over the past year. The Trail Blazer of the Year award to Larry Souverielle for going above and beyond to support the SVAM mission. SVAM presented the Top Giver Award to the Southwest Virginia Workforce Development Board for their many sponsorships.

SVAM would like to thank its sponsors for this event: Virginia Economic Development Partnership, Southwest Virginia Workforce Development Board, The Manufacturing Technology Center, United Way of Southwest Virginia, and The Southwestern Virginia Technology Council.